Thomson Reuters offers its warmest congratulations to the Hon Justice Susan Kiefel AC on her appointment as Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia, and to the Hon Justice James Edelman on his appointment to the Court. Their Honours will begin their terms in the Court’s first sitting of 2017.
Both are exceptional appointments. Justice Kiefel’s appointment as Australia’s first ever female Chief Justice of the High Court is a richly deserved one. Her Honour left school at the age of 15 to work as a legal secretary, while studying to come to the Bar and being appointed as the first female QC in Queensland. After 16 years as a barrister, her Honour was elevated to the Bench where she has sat as a judge for 23 years (9 of which she spent on the High Court).
Justice Kiefel has contributed to The Australian Law Journal on the relationship between judicial independence, individualism and judgment writing (88 ALJ 554) and on the law of restitution in Australia (88 ALJ 176). A lecture given by her Honour on proportionality as a general legal principle was published in the June 2012 issue of the Public Law Review (23 PLR 85).
Justice Edelman joined the University of Oxford, UK as a professor of law at the age of 34 after a Rhodes Scholarship. He was appointed to the Western Australian Supreme Court and then in 2015 to the Federal Court of Australia. At the age of 43, Justice Edelman will be the fourth youngest judge to join the Court, and the youngest in 86 years, meaning that he could foreseeably hold tenure on the Court until 2044.
Justice Edelman has recently contributed to the Australian Journal of Administrative Law and The Australian Law Journal on topics such as “Why do we have rules of procedural fairness?” (23 AJ Admin L 144) and “Unnecessary causation” (89 ALJ 20) as well as acting as Guest Editor for the ALJ “Current Issues” section in March 2016 (90 ALJ 147).
We look forward to what these appointments bring for the future of the High Court.